Cuban missile crisis: The other, secret one
13 October 2012 Last updated at 15:22 BST
The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 is generally accepted as the twentieth century's moment of maximum peril.
On the 50th anniversary of the crisis, the BBC has had exclusive access to new information that paints an even more dangerous picture of how the crisis unfolded.
Papers to be published next week reveal that far from the crisis ending neatly with the deal struck by President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev at the end of October, there was a second secret stage to the crisis with staggering implications for the world.
Joe Matthews spoke to Dr Svetlana Savranskay, Director of Russia Programmes, National Security Archive in Washington DC, about her research and has this report.
A Wild Iris TV production for the BBC.
Producer/ReporterJoe Matthews; film researcherAileen McAllister; cameraPeter Murtaugh; online editorMarcus Dawson; associate producerPasha Shilov.